Supporting Others Through Death and Grieving

Whether you are young, old, rich, or poor, death and grieving is part of our lives.

So, how do we C.A.R.E. for our group members who are suffering the loss of a loved one?


CRISIS – Understanding Death + Loss + Grief

The death of a loved one or close friend is one of the biggest stressors in life – it’s also a crucial opportunity to show care and support for your group member.

Grieving is a necessary part of healing, and healthy grieving requires the care and support of a community. But grief can also intensify depending on how people react to the person dealing with loss.

According to grief experts, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, there are Five Stages of Grief – and it’s important you understand these stages as you care for a group member:

1. Denial: This is not really happening right now.
2. Anger: Why me? Is this my fault?
3. Bargaining (with God): Take this away and I will do whatever you ask of me.
4. Depression: I can’t think straight and I can barely get out of bed in the morning.
5. Acceptance: I’m allowing myself to be sad and grieve with this loss, and I’m starting to experience peace.


APPLICATIONPractical Suggestions for Caring

LOOK – Your group member might need some support if you notice any of these symptoms:

    • Forgetfulness
    • Exhaustion, physically drained
    • Withdrawn and lonely, crying bouts
    • Loss of appetite or excessive eating, drinking, etc.
    • Taking on demanding schedules to avoid grief topic
    • Physical distress such as headaches, heart/chest pain, upset stomach

ASK – Sometimes we ignore grief because we don’t want “to make things worse”, but the best way to care for your group member is to ask questions like:

    • How are you doing today?
    • How can I support you this week?
    • What are you missing most about your loved one today?

LISTEN – Be available to listen to your group member talk about what he or she is going through and be present if they’re not ready to talk.


REFERENCEWhat Does the Bible Say About Death?


ENGAGENext Steps For Engaging Your Group Member

OFFER any help you are able to give (projects, meals, lawn care, pet care, laundry, travel arrangements, etc.) Send a card letting them know you’re thinking about them with a small gift card for coffee or groceries. Say something like this (copy as necessary):

    • So sorry to hear about your loss! Just want you to know we are all here to support you. Here’s a little something to help you get through the week.

CONNECT them to the Care Team at Hoboken Grace. Email

SUGGEST they attend a Hoboken Grace service with you or watch it online.

READ a book about death and grieving: Helping Those in Grief: A Guide to Help You Care for Others by H. Norman Wright or A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry Sittser.

PRAY for your group member, for their family, for their “new normal” as they deal with loss and grief.


Return to Care Guides


Photo by Daniel Gregoire on Unsplash


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